MANILA—Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday said he is opposed to the idea of allowing transgender women in restrooms assigned to women.
Sotto has become more vocal rejecting the idea after concerns were raised about the possible abuse that could take place in case this setup is allowed.
“I now feel very strongly about it because it has turned from a transgender rights to a women’s rights [issue],” Sotto told reporters.
“This is now an issue on women’s rights because I feel that a woman’s body is a temple and to her, the toilet is sacred. It’s where she has a weakest point. Kaya kung ikaw meron kang sandata, hindi ka dapat du’n nagsi-CR (If you have a penis, you should not use the women’s restroom). You go to the men’s room.”
Sotto added some transgender women’s claim that they are vulnerable to assault in men’s restrooms is unfounded.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) groups have been pushing for an inclusive restroom policy in the country where transgender people are allowed to use the restroom of their choice.
Discussion on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) equality bill, which seeks to protect members of the LGBT community from all forms discrimination, gained public attention after transgender woman Gretchen Diez was detained following an argument with a janitress who admonished her for using the women's toilet at a Quezon City mall last week.
Several senators, including administration allies Bong Go, Imee Marcos, and Juan Miguel Zubiri have since expressed support for tthe SOGIE equality bill.
But senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Panfilo Lacson, and Ronald Dela Rosa expressed apprehension over allowing transgender women in women’s restrooms, as this might be abused by straight men wishing to sexually assault women.